Life’s a beach and I’m just living it. And loving it all. It’s been a busy time here as I work to apply for things back home and stay on top of research projects and papers for classes. I never got the chance to write about our class field trip to Guanacaste a week ago so here’s some quick reflections. We took an extremely long bus ride to a rural community on the beach of La Cruz where we stayed with host families and enjoyed home cooked meals, including a whole fish (eyeballs and teeth included) and lots of rice and beans. Our trip was to study the marine ecosystems of the area so we spent all day Saturday and Sunday snorkeling where we saw brightly colored fish, poisonous snakes, starfish and dead coral. We rode to the cove areas in a tiny little motor boat and had quite the trip battling the wind and waves on the way back. Thank goodness no one had motion sickness or that would’ve been bad news!! My friend Mikayla and I discovered there’s a little park behind our houses with a paved basketball court so we’ve been doing workouts there every morning. Outdoor gym equipment is a popular thing here so at every park there’s a few arm and ab machines which is convenient when you don’t want to pay for a gym membership! This past Monday we walked down to a cute restaurant called LuvBurger where I had the most delicious guacamole filled vegan burger. Our abroad program had an event on Wednesday called Tingo which was Bingo but with local tico slang words so now I can say “dude” and “chill out” in Spanish. On Friday we headed to Tamarindo which is a beautiful beach on the Pacific side and due to my poor time planning skills we caught our bus with just a minute to spare. Traffic is a big factor here and not being used to that back home makes me misjudge the time it takes to get from one place to another, oops. Saturday I got to go surfing for the first time and that was such a good time. It was extremely windy that day so the waves were big and there were a lot of them to try and catch. Our surf instructors Sabinka and Fifo, such cool names, were the funniest people and made wiping out in the waves much better. They tried to teach me how to do a flip switch while riding a wave which is just doing a little jump to switch which foot is in front and yeah that didn’t work out too well haha. It was still a blast though and we spent the rest of the afternoon laying out on the beach and watching the bachelor party next to us practice their coordinated dance for the upcoming wedding. They were terrible dancers but made it amusing so there will be lots of laughs at whatever wedding they’re in. We had dinner at a restaurant on the beach and got to watch the sunset over the waves and take lots of pictures with the golden hour glow. Tamarindo is a beautiful place with an abundance of cute boutiques and cafes and mostly nice people but there was a lot of cat calling this weekend, my favorite being “you smell like freedom”! Not even sure what that’s supposed to imply but hey who knows what goes through men’s heads who think they can just shout out whatever to people who walk by. I’ve become quite the pro at ignoring people here and just laughing off the strange comments they make. The only problem with coming back from weekend trips is the bus rides back as traffic gets so bad and makes a 5 hour bus ride 7 hours instead. That’s quite a long time when you’re on a bus with no AC- we had the windows open so instead of a bus if felt like an extremely long roller coaster ride, especially since the roads are winding in every direction here. Totally worth it though and I’m learning to love the ride as much as the destination. If I tried to cover all the funny things that happen every day I’d be writing a book for each week so these are just the highlights from it all. I think I’ll be washing sand out of my hair for a long while but like I said earlier it’s all totally worth it and this experience has been like no other!